In the 2nd century BC, the Romans destroyed Carthage and settled in Tunisia. These are the most-preserved Roman ruins in the country.
Amphitheatre of El Jem
The Amphitheatre of El Jem is one of the most-preserved Roman ruins in Tunisia. The amphitheater is 150 meters tall and was used by the Tunisians until the 20th century. Entertainment in general was very important for the Romans. Gladiator fights, chariot races, wrestling, and boxing matches were some of the events Romans frequently enjoyed. The usual place to spectate these events was the amphitheater. The one in El Jem could support up to 35,000 people which is impressive because this number was bigger than the whole El Jem population at the time.
Arch of Alexander Severus
One of the oldest most-preserved Roman ruins in Tunisia is the Arch of Alexander Severus. Severus was emperor for 13 years but in this short span, he helped Roman Tunisia a lot. To show their gratitude towards the emperor, Romans built this arch which also functioned as a city gate as well. The monument is nearly 1800 years old and despite the absence of its upper levels, is still an impressive sight.
House of the Cascade
Utica was one of the most well-known cities in Tunisia even before the Romans came. It became a Roman colony 100 years after the destruction of Carthage. When Romans settled in the city, they started to add the common components of a Roman city right away. Excavations revealed forums, amphitheaters, baths, a circus, and houses. The largest Roman ruin in the city is the House of the Cascade. The house is famous for its mosaics, pools, fountains, and a huge garden. Due to its luxurious characteristics, it is probable that the house belonged to a noble Roman.
Kasbah of Béja
Kasbah of Beja was a historical citadel, a fortress on a higher level above the city. It was an important defensive site for the Carthaginians and its power kept the city of Beja under their control for nearly a century. Beja was an agricultural city and continuously received raids from barbarians. Until the Romans invaded the city, the fortress managed to keep the barbarians away. However, at the end of the Punic Wars, the Romans destroyed the citadel and built a newer one with 22 towers. The citadel was so strong that after the Romans left, the Muslims who conquered North Africa continued to use it and even made it the official center of their Northern lands.
The Roman Baths of Gafsa
It is no secret that the Romans were very advanced in terms of building baths. The baths in Gafsa are not only one of the most-preserved Roman remnants in Tunisia but of the Roman remnants in the world. They date back to the 1st century BC and were connected to a spring from the nearby mountain. Unlike the Baths in England, the baths of Gafsa are still in use. An interesting fact is that during the North Africa campaign in WW2, American soldiers used the bath too.
Dougga is one of the most unique Roman remnants in Tunisia. Before the Roman rule, the city was a prospering center of culture and commerce, dating back to the 6th century BC. When the Romans came, they respected the indigenous heritage of the city. For centuries, there were two governing bodies consisting of the locals and the Romans. Both communities lived together in harmony and in the following century, all Dougga inhabitants became Roman citizens, making everyone officially equal. The legacy of these citizens, especially the Dougga Theater, makes Dougga one of the most important Ancient Roman sites.
Another well-preserved city in Roman Tunisia is Sufetula. The city was famous for its temples, arches, baths, houses, columns, and olive gardens which have been standing for centuries. Sufetula was inhabited by very wealthy Romans who got rich through olive export and loved luxury. Moreover, Sufetula was an important center for religion for both paganistic Rome and the Christian Byzantine Empire. The city was also the starting point of the Muslim conquest of North Africa. One of the most-preserved Roman remnants in Sufetula is the Antonine Gate dating back to the 2th century.